Friday, August 11, 2006

Of Racks And Pinions...

Shortly after posting yesterday, I received a phone call from my mechanic stating that my truck was ready any time I wanted to straggle in and pick 'er up. This came as a pleasant surprise as the original estimate was that I would be back on four wheel sometime this morning. The Sheep rejoiced.

And that was the last piece of good news I heard.

Perhaps a recap of events would be helpful:

On July 26, I strode jauntily into the garage-type-place for my appointed oil change. I had also requested, when making the appointment, that the fellers take a look-see and see if they couldn't figure out what that god-awful noise that the truck was making might be.

At the counter, I reviewed my needs. With my limited vocal range, I even reproduced the offending noise for the amused gentleman. The word, "steering" left my lips. (I recall this because I was somewhat unsure of how well my efforts to sound "car savvy" were going over)

The oil change was completed and I was informed that my brakes and rotors needed work. In hindsight, I now realize that the words, "and that is why the car is making that noise" were never actually uttered.

I assumed.

Don't ever do that.

Yesterday, I brought the truck in for it's inspection and the required brake work. They had no record of my appointment. It was later discovered that it had been accidentally cancelled. This was not an auspicious start to my morning...

An hour later, the vehicle that had been described as being in "excellent shape" at the appointment on the 26th was discovered to have a leak in the rack and something hideous going on with the pinions. I don't know what all that stuff is...but I did note that it had something to do with the steering. The steering. Which I had suggested might be the issue in the first place. The estimate was now $700.00 to repair this damage and the brakey stuff.

I left the garage as Mr. Mechanic man (who, for the record here, was disarmingly cute) was ordering my new rack.

I walked home a distance just under 1.5 miles.

Late that same afternoon, I got the call saying that I was now the proud owner of a bouncing baby Ford Escape with a shiny new rack 'n rotors.

I walked just under 1.5 miles back to the garage. (I have a blister)

I was presented with a bill for $960.85.


I pointed out that this was somewhat above the estimate and that a phone call might have been appreciated. I was told that the labor had raised the final cost (the truck was ready almost twelve hours earlier than originally planned), that an inspection had been done (and that somehow raised the bill by two hundred dollars or so?) and that there were many things involved in such a delicate operation.

I was hot. I was tired. I had a blister. The mechanic guy was disarmingly cute. I paid my bill.

I drove to the pharmacy and immediately retrieved my prescription...better to take it late than to actually commit any of the crimes I was contemplating.

The long and the short of this saga is that the truck now has a more impressive rack than does The Sheep. That's not sayin' much, but it illustrates the point.

Today, I went grocery shopping:

Yes, that would be the bill underneath the self-medicating supplies.
While it was delightful to be driving a vehicle that does not howl like the Hounds of Hell when turning, I am not convinced that this pleasure was quite worth an amount that is closer to the thousands place than the hundreds.
I will be in a credit/sugar coma for quite some time, I fear.
But, there is good news!!! I might have something very purty to show you tomorrow.

But for now, this Sheep is going to go sit in her truck, eat chocolate and think of all the things that one might purchase for $960.85 USD.



trek said...

That's an awful lot of sock yarn.
Or chocolate.
Or Häagen-Dazs.
Or dpns.
Or a month's mortgage.
Or a quarter's taxes.

Okay, I will shut up right now.
Sorry, Sheep.

The Purloined Letter said...

I am so sorry to hear of your travails. But you have the right idea: chocolate and fiber cure all ills.

mrichme said...

Sheepish you need to start selling some of the fiber off or sell some of your craftiness off to subsidize your vehicle habit.

April said...

shit, Sheep.

please pardon my language. what a horrible way to start the weekend. would you like a cat?

camadsmom said...

Its true that americans spend more money on the vehicles that are constently depreciating in value. With the price of gas why do we not walk more. Then, when I stop and think I realize that living in the rural neighborhood that I do I would have to take the school bus to work. NOT HAPPENING.

Sheila said...

Man, that toatally sucks!
I'm so sorry about your bill. You and purloined are right, fiber and comfort foods are the anecdote for your pain, so keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

That's not good...They should have called...
The chocolate looks yummy and you picked out the healthiest dark chocolate I see. Excellent.

Kate said...

I must confess that the reason I drive new cars is because I can budget for a monthly payment much more easily than I can budget for this kind of stuff. I hate it! The bill is always higher than the estimate in the world of auto repair. I'm sorry. Luckily meds, chocolate and fiber are the universal happiness cure.

Kate said...

Comment hog alert! Sorry. Got your comment. You are exactly right. We were practically promised that we would be driving Jetson flying cars by now. I'm a little p.o.-ed about this and I blame the people at Hannah Barbera.

Mia said...

Amen for self medication!

Wow.. that bill was just a WEE bit more than the estimate. I would have raised holy-you-know-what and made them come down a LITTLE, at least! They probably wouldn't have, but I'd have felt better after yelling.

Sorry Sheepie.. it sucks. But the yarn and goodies are bound to take the edge off.. hang in there.

Tygher Knits said...

Ugh. I'm sorry to hear about the horror you endured at the mercy of mechanics. I'm so happy that my car is under a serious warrantee, even after the manufacturer's warrantee runs out. Our old car was always needing something fixed.

Geraldine said...

Wow....a new rack!! And a very costly one indeed. Vehicles are costly and a pain in the butt but it seems we can't do without them completely. I look forward to a day when we live in a smaller place when walking will be the normal mode of transport, car for only 'pick up trips'.

Enjoy the chocolate and the ultra quiet hummmmmmm.....

Huggs, G